Our economy has an insatiable appetite for energy, and because of the negative side effects of fossil fuels, the quicker that we can supplement and/or replace petroleum-based power sources, the better. Wind power is a great way to generate clean renewable energy, and the innovations in wind technology being pursued over the last year or so are a reminder that with the right tools, we can turn the movement of the air above us and the structures we’re familiar with into fuel for our energy-hungry lifestyles.


An airborne wind turbine is a design concept for a wind turbine with a rotor supported in the air without a tower, thus benefiting from more mechanical and aerodynamic options, the higher velocity and persistence of wind at high altitudes, while avoiding the expense of tower construction, or the need for slip rings or yaw mechanism. An electrical generator may be on the ground or airborne. Challenges include safely suspending and maintaining turbines hundreds of meters off the ground in high winds and storms, transferring the harvested and/or generated power back to earth, and interference with aviation. This is a positive innovation in wind energy and resolves issues of tower construction in difficult locations.


According to the US Department of Energy, a network of farms totaling an area half the size of Maine could grow enough biofuel to replace all of the oil used in the US. Algae can be converted into various types of fuels, depending on the technique and the part of the cells used. The lipid, or oily part of the algae biomass can be extracted and converted into biodiesel through a process similar to that used for any other vegetable oil, or converted in a refinery into “drop-in” replacements for petroleum-based fuels. Alternatively or following lipid extraction, the carbohydrate content of algae can be fermented into bioethanol or butanol fuel.


A “Hydrokinetic” turbine is an integrated turbine generator to produce electricity in a free flow environment. It does not need a dam or diversion. Instream Energy Systems has coined the phrase Instream Energy Generation Technology or IEGT places turbines in rivers, manmade channels, tidal waters, or ocean currents. These turbines use the flow of water to turn them, thus generating electricity for the power grid on nearby land. In effect, IEGT is like planting windmills in the water and is environmentally friendly. While hydrokinetic includes generation from ocean tides, currents and waves, many researchers believe its most practical application in the near term is likely to be in rivers and streams.


Green energy. Everyone wants it, but not in their backyard. An odd thing for a country known for its picturesque windmills dating from the 18th century. How can we once again give green energy the allure it deserves? ‘Windlicht’ (Windlight), is a dance of bright lines. Special software and tracking technology detect the windmill blades rotating at 280 kilometres per hour. Green lines of light are connecting the blades. This creates a dynamic play o flight and movement. Windlicht creates the missing link between the Dutch and the beauty of their landscape.


GREEN POWERED BOAT PREPARES FOR ROUND-THE-WORLD VOYAGE Dubbed the “Solar Impulse of the seas”, the first boat to be powered solely by renewable energies and hydrogen hopes to make its own historic trip around the world. A water-borne answer to … Read More